Illinois reports 6,110 new cases of COVID-19 and 51 deaths; restrictions coming in north suburbs

Public health officials Wednesday announced another 6,110 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois and 51 additional deaths.

The cases were among 70,752 test results submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day.

The seven-day testing positivity rate average climbed again to 6.7%, health officials said.

As of Tuesday night, 2,861 Illinoisans were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 600 needing intensive care and 243 on ventilators.

State officials Wednesday also announced new restrictions on public gatherings and indoor dining in the north suburbs in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Starting Saturday, public gatherings in Lake and McHenry counties will be limited to 25 people and indoor dining and bar service will be closed, according to a statement from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office. Outdoor service and takeout, delivery and drive-through service will remain available.

The move comes after the region saw a seven-day rolling average positivity rate of 8% or higher for three consecutive days, officials said.

“These resurgence mitigations aim to cut down on some of the highest high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in a region once again,” Pritzker said in the statement. “I know this virus is hard on everyone. But this battle isn’t going away by itself. We have to manage our way through it with the tools we have available to us. And there are many of those tools that nearly everyone in our state has available to join the fight.”

In addition to the restrictions on indoor service, all bar and restaurant service will be required to close at 11 p.m., officials said. Outdoor service will be required to maintain social distancing practices.

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Other gatherings, meetings and social events will be limited to either 25 people or 25% of the overall room capacity, whichever is lower, according to officials. These restrictions don’t apply to schools or polling places.

Similar restrictions have recently been announced for Chicago and the south suburbs.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Illinois has recorded 389,095 cases and 9,619 deaths tied to COVID-19.